Artists With the Most Hit Albums

Source: David Becker / Getty Images

20. Van Halen
> Certified units: 57 million
> Most popular album: 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) (1984)

Formed in California in 1972, hard rock band Van Halen took its name from songwriter and lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen and his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen. Van Halen has sold more than 56 million albums in the United States. Two albums, the debut “Van Halen” and “1984” (whose title was stylized in Roman numerals on the cover) sold more than 10 million each. The single “Jump” from “1984” reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and held the spot for five weeks. The band won one Grammy Award for the album “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” in 1991 and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

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19. Whitney Houston
> Certified units: 60 million
> Most popular album: The Bodyguard (Soundtrack) (1992)

Known as “The Voice,” six-time Grammy winner Whitney Houston is the only performer to have seven consecutive No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her first two albums, “Whitney Houston” and “Whitney,” hit No. 1 on the album charts. The 1992 soundtrack from the movie “The Bodyguard,” in which she starred with Kevin Costner, is the best-selling movie soundtrack ever and won the Grammy for Best Album of the Year. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted Houston in 2020.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

18. Metallica
> Certified units: 63 million
> Most popular album: Metallica (1991)

Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, heavy metal band Metallica has won eight Grammy Awards. Known mainly as a thrash meta” band, Metallica used a slower, heavier style on its fifth studio album, “Metallica,” also known as “The Black Album.” Six of the band’s best-known songs — “Enter Sandman,” “The Unforgiven,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “Wherever I May Roam,” and “Sad but True” — are on the album. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted the band in 2009.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

17. Madonna
> Certified units: 65 million
> Most popular album: The Immaculate Collection (1990)

The so-called “Queen of Pop,” Madonna has achieved the status of cultural icon by repeatedly changing with the times. Her work and her life have even spawned an academic discipline, “Madonna studies.” Her first greatest hits album, “The Immaculate Collection,” includes the hits “Justify My Love,” “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “Like a Prayer,” “Vogue,” “Express Yourself,” and “Crazy for You.” She has won seven Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted her in 2008.

Source: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

16. Bruce Springsteen
> Certified units: 66 million
> Most popular album: Born In The U.S.A. (1984)

One of the originators of “heartland rock,” Bruce Springsteen has built a fiercely loyal fan base over five decades. His first two albums, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” and “The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle,” were both released in 1973 but did not sell well. But by 1982, “The Boss” had found the magic and released “Born In The U.S.A.,” which has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. He has won 20 Grammy Awards and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted him in 1999.

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